Politics

WA ‘may shut all borders if virus spreads’

Western Australia will consider reinstating its hard border closure to all states if the current coronavirus outbreaks in NSW and Victoria spread to other jurisdictions, Premier Mark McGowan says.

With WA already closed off to those two states, the premier says there are no plans for more hard border closures at this stage.

But he says the state government will not hesitate to act to protect local residents.

“Obviously, if there were outbreaks across other states, or if we saw continuing spread from New South Wales or Victoria into other states we’d need to look at that,” Mr McGowan said on Monday.

“So, if we have to bring back a hard border to all the states we would do that if there was spread into other states that necessitated that outcome.

“Putting up borders to stop the spread of the virus works.

“If we need to put up the border to protect the welfare, health and economy of Western Australia we will.”

WA was the last state to lift all its border restrictions towards the end of 2020.

It reimposed border closures with NSW and Victoria after the government revised their status to medium risk in response to the latest virus case clusters in Sydney and Melbourne.

Only people granted exemptions are still allowed to enter, while West Australians returning home will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

Any Victorians who arrived in WA between December 21 and New Year’s Day, ahead of the border closure, are also required to self-isolate for two weeks from when they first entered the state.

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